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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 30, 2021)

WeWork may combine with a SPAC as it continues its turnaround plan, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Los Angeles Times looks at how restaurant properties with drive-throughs have been a hot commodity in recent months. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. WeWork in Talks to Combine With SPAC or Raise Money Privately “WeWork’s board and its Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani have been weighing offers from a SPAC affiliated with Bow Capital Management LLC and at least one other unidentified acquisition vehicle for several weeks, the people said. A deal could value WeWork at some $10 billion, some of the people said. It couldn’t be learned whether that includes debt.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Sweetgreen and Shake Shack are going all in on drive-throughs. And they’re not alone “Investors have taken note. Los Angeles retail real estate brokers at CBRE said properties with drive-throughs have jumped to 90% of their sales business from about half in the last 12 months as investors flee from strip centers and other struggling retail venues to places were customers are actively spending money.” (Los Angeles Times)
  3. Join Us in Miami! Love, Masters of the Universe “As tech leaders have decamped from San Francisco and Wall Street titans from New York, many have spread across the country to locations with sun, lower taxes and — preferably — more relaxed lockdowns. Coming from places run by progressive governments that were sometimes openly antagonistic toward local elites, many were thrilled to move to towns that seemed to want them more.” (The New York Times)
  4. Return to lender: 10 malls Brookfield may give up, and why “It was a gamble when Brookfield Property Partners paid over $9 billion in cash for GGP’s 125-mall portfolio, but the company had a plan. Shortly after the deal closed in August 2018, Brookfield said it would ‘future proof’ most of those malls, turning moribund properties into mixed-use ‘mini cities’ by adding residential and office space.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Dallas, Houston and Austin Leading Return to Work, Kastle Finds “The Barometer is an average of the Top 10 cities it serves based on millions of aggregated, anonymous daily building access data points from Kastle-secured properties. To compile it, Kastle Systems uses keycard, fob and KastlePresence app access data from 2,681 buildings in 138 cities.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. COVID Vaccines a Real Shot in the Arm for NYC Brokers: Survey “Broker confidence in the fourth quarter of 2020 was 4.35 out of 10, a 41 percent increase compared to the previous quarter, according to REBNY. It’s the first increase in the measure since the first quarter of 2020’s record drop.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. What ‘Cancel Rent’ Means to NYC Homeowners and Small Landlords “Dozens of homeowners and owners of small buildings have reached out to THE CITY with questions about how to stay afloat and keep their properties when rent isn’t coming in and work is hard to find. So we asked around about what relief is available for homeowners, what ‘canceling rent’ would mean for them and who they might call for help.” (The City)
  8. PGIM Heads for $1B Final Close on Fourth APAC Value-Add Fund “The real estate fund manager has now raised €800 million ($971 million) for AVP IV, the fourth iteration of its closed-ended value-add fund for the region, with the company’s head of Asia Pacific, Benett Theseira indicating to Mingtiandi that PGIM Real Estate expects to bring that total to €850 million within the next two months.” (Mingtiandi)
  9. How to Reopen Schools? Officials Try Financial Lures and Threats “The reopening debate persists as districts struggle to balance learning loss and Covid-19 risks. Chicago teachers this week refused to return to classrooms over health concerns. In some states, teachers were among the first to receive vaccines in order to incentivize school reopenings.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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